Commitment on care costs is good news
17 August 2012
Reform is needed urgently as many people with Parkinson's and their families are already suffering with ruinous costs of care.
Donna O'Brien, Policy and Campaigns Advisor
We are encouraged by the reports that the Government are planning
for a maximum £35,000 cap on how much people pay towards their
social care in England.
In July the Department of Health announced social care
But behind the scenes it seemed many in Government were still
unconvinced about the need to limit the catastrophic costs of care
that many people face including people with Parkinson's.
In May this year, we, as part of the Care and Support
Alliance, called on the Prime Minister to
act on the growing crisis in the social care system.
This was a call we echoed from the Dilnot Commission and
Commission. They gave the Government a roadmap to change the
funding structure that would help to produce a fair and sustainable
system of care.
It is clear the Prime Minister has heeded this call with the
reports that he and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg are determined
to push the cap through.
However, it is reported the earliest this will be implemented is
2017. The delay is disappointing so we are keeping the pressure up
to push for these plans sooner rather than later.
What do we mean by a cap?
Unlike the NHS, social care is means tested. This means people
can face unlimited costs as the state will only completely fund
someone's care once they have less than £14,250 in the bank.
People who need to move into residential care often have to sell
their homes to fund their care, with 1 in 10 people needing care
end up spending £100,000 on their needs.
While a system like the NHS and funded by tax has been ruled out
by government, the Dilnot Commission proposals went some way to
making the costs more bearable for people. They suggested that the
maximum someone who is means tested would pay is £35,000 on their
Not everyone would have to pay £35,000 for their care before the
state stepped in to help with the costs. Also, a new means test in
residential care would mean people could keep more of their
People would still have to pay towards accommodation costs in
residential care, however, a move towards limiting the costs is
Vision and courage
Donna O'Brien, our Policy and Campaigns Advisor said:
"We are pleased the Government is starting to listen to those
who are currently left in desperate circumstances.
"Politicians of all parties have ducked the issue of care
funding for decades so it will take vision and courage to see a cap
on care costs through.
"However, it could still be many years before this relief
reaches the most vulnerable.
"Reform is needed urgently as many people with Parkinson's and
their families are already suffering with ruinous costs of